New tools to drive Vancouver’s sustainability agenda

The city’s new procurement policy, the lengthy document that is last but not least on this year’s final regular council agenda, not only tightens oversight over the purchase of goods and services, it will save money and help the city secure environmental and social sustainability from its suppliers. (It’s policy report 6 on this massive council agenda.)

Example: instead of three city purchases seeking office suppliers independently, a single buying system will call on suppliers to compete on price and how green their products from the forest, through the pulp mill and right to the loading dock. Five “category managers” in the new system will each be responsible for finding the best price and value in a particular area of purchasing.

A product of the Vancouver Services Review, the new system streamlines purchasing into a single system to increase buying power and consistency. It implements corporate best practices to ensure more competitive bidding and closer oversight of contracts.

Perhaps most importantly, it allows the city to drive its sustainability agenda with its own purchasing power, encouraging more suppliers to verify they are green and doing everything possible to support the city’s objectives for environmental and social sustainability.